EDF Energy has announced plans to extend the expected life of Dungeness B nuclear power station by ten years, to 2028. Two advanced gas-cooled reactors at the site began generation in 1983 and have a combined capacity of 1050 MW.
The utility, which operates a fleet of eight nuclear power stations in the UK, said the decision to extend the life of Dungeness B has been made possible by a £150 million investment programme. It comes after extensive reviews of the plant's safety cases and work with the independent nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). The station will also be subject to continuing independent safety reviews by the ONR, EDF said.
Martin Pearson, Station Director at Dungeness B, said: "We've invested heavily in Dungeness so that we could make the case to safely extend its life by ten years.
"Life extension means the station will continue to provide hundreds of skilled jobs and provide a launchpad for the apprentices who will begin their careers at Dungeness B. We'll also carry on contributing more than £40 million to the local economy in Kent and East Sussex."
The life extension at Dungeness B is part of a wider EDF Energy programme to extend the lives of all eight of its stations until a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C is due to be commissioned, subject to a final investment decision.
Keith Parker, Chief Executive, Nuclear Industry Association welcomed the news, which he said would safeguard hundreds of jobs and the supply chain, while securing low-carbon electricity for millions of homes.
"Based on expected life extensions, the news means that all seven of the current AGR nuclear stations will be operating when the first of Britain's new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C is due to be commissioned in 2023," said Keith Parker, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association. This will help maintain the UK's security of supply and avoid the generation of millions of tonnes of CO2, Parker added.
Photo: Dungeness B in Kent (Source: EDF Energy)